Rue stormed into the elevator just as it opened. He pressed a button, without even looking at the numbers on the panel. The delicate eyebrows and the features on his face seemed strained; Rue was annoyed by something as he listened to the upbeat tune overhead on the speaker. He leaned against the wall, filing his nails in anger.
As he reached the second floor, the elevator beeped, and the sliding doors creaked open. Rue was dressed in his dark crimson suit, tie, and pointed shoes––it was not a joyous occasion for him. He stopped at an entrance, knowing exactly where to go. Rue didn’t need to look at the sign above his head, titled: MANAGER’S OFFICE.
Faint breathing sounds came from inside the room; he heard someone moaning. Rue had no intentions of acting like a gentleman this evening, since he wasn’t in a good mood. No time for polite knockings at the door; Rue made himself right at home and twisted the handle, barging in uninvited.
A woman with dirty, blond hair bumped in to him on her way out. Her white blouse and black skirt looked disheveled. She had a pungent scent—she reeked of it. Rue could smell semen on her breath.
“Pardon me, sir,” she said, adjusting the buttons on her outfit. “So sorry.”
Mr. Jefferson zipped up his pants with much disappointment, since Rue had come in unexpected. His face was sweating so much as he wiped his face dry with a tissue. Rue could see drops of whitish fluid on Mr. Jefferson’s mouth and mustache.
“Didn’t think you’d come in today,” Mr. Jefferson said, clearing his throat.
Rue didn’t smile as he took a step forward inside the office; he looked over his shoulder at the woman, fixing her hair and make-up. He glanced back at Mr. Jefferson and gave him an odd smirk; Rue turned around and leaned over. A musky odor filled the air and Rue knew exactly what the two of them were doing in there. They had been fucking this whole time. He saw the guilty expressions on their faces.
“Lisa, did you enjoy sucking his cock?” Rue asked, raising a brow.
“Ex-excuse me?” Lisa didn’t know who Rue was or how he knew her name. But she was caught unaware, like a blind possum about to be struck by a speeding car.
Rue smiled. “Why don’t you take the day off.”
She tried to respond. “Is that––”
Rue slammed the door an inch away from her face, leaving Lisa bewildered and terrified. He took something out of his suit pocket, a small pack of wet wipes. Rue cleaned his hands thoroughly, since his fingers had touched the sticky door handle. He had an inkling that what he touched was quite filthy; Rue threw the towel in the trash bin and gave Mr. Jefferson a cold glare.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Chang. I-I had no idea you’d be arriving. If I’d known, I’d have the agreement ready by now.”
Rue held his hand up to Mr. Jefferson’s face. “Please, shut the fuck up,” he said, trying not to lose his cool. “I wish to bask in your glory and soak in the atmosphere for a moment. By the way, you smell like shit.”
Mr. Jefferson neatly stacked some of the papers on his desk, pretending to look busy at work.
“Who needs a contract these days, eh?” Rue asked, studying the family portraits on a shelf.
He walked around and examined certain details of the room. The blinds concealing the large, tinted windows hadn’t been cleaned in over two months now. Rue trailed his long finger over one of them and rubbed both his thumb and index fingers together. The blinds were all covered in dust, leaving a thick film behind. Rue sighed in disappointment and took out another wet wipe.
The silk, cushioned chairs looked faded and had stains on them.
“These are not Emory Maroon Velvet Chairs, are they?” Rue checked the tag on the seat cushion.
“Lovely! Made in China,” he said, dropping the cushion on the floor.
He massaged his temples in anger. “With the salary you’re making now, it wouldn’t kill you to pay a little extra on the furniture. My, my you are stingy with your money.”
Mr. Jefferson kept his mouth shut in fear of retaliation. Rue leaned over the dark, cherry desk. It had a couple of scratches along the surface, but it wasn’t obvious to Mr. Jefferson since he didn’t care. Rue used his long fingernails and marked the wood, creating an awful scratchy sound. Mr. Jefferson covered both his ears.
After Rue was done clawing the entire desk, he smiled at his nails and blew on them, because they were hot to the touch. Mr. Jefferson gulped, and yet he didn’t say a word. Rue noticed the numerous awards on the wall, displaying Motor Company Corporation as the number one car dealership in town. There were several shelves dedicated in Mr. Jefferson’s honor, including all his trophies for THE HALL OF FAME. However, one picture caught Rue’s eye in particular.
A young Mr. Jefferson from ten years ago. He was standing beside a black Jesus, which included a bible proverb: BY HUMILITY AND THE FEAR OF THE LORD ARE RICHES, HONOR AND LIFE, POVERBS 22:4. Rue rolled his eyes after reading this scripture, seeing as Mr. Jefferson couldn’t spell nor was he a follower of the commandment. He pulled up a clean chair and sat down.
Rue then folded his legs. “You do realize ‘proverbs’ is spelled incorrectly.” He couldn’t stop staring at the blatant error on the wall. It irritated him to no end.
Mr. Jefferson was sweating bullets, wiping his brow with a paper towel. “If it’s about the money that I owe you, Mr. Chang––you sir can have it. All of it.”
“I don’t want money, Mr. Jefferson. I want something from you that’s worth your weight in gold.”
“Just tell me anything––whatever it is, you can have.”
“What an attractive family you have––or should I say, ‘had?’ Such a waste really.” Rue noticed another family picture on Mr. Jefferson’s desk. “My what a handsome boy you have there. Doesn’t he go to that school down the road? What’s it called?”
“There must be something else you want that’s more valuable. My family has nothing to do with our business deals.”
“Ah, yes. Cougar High School. Now, I remember.”
“He’s a senior, who’s going to be a famous football or a basketball player one of these days––he’ll be more popular than Michael Bordan. You’ll see.”
“Really now? You must be so proud.”
“Someday, he’ll be rich and famous. He’s nothing like me.”
“Yes, I know. Unlike his Big Sugar Daddy.”
Rue was disenchanted with this statement, yawning ever so gracefully. He slanted his head to the side. “It’s such a tragedy he’s not yours anymore. He’s how old, again?”
“Uh, um…nineteen. He turned nineteen this year.”
“That’s wonderful news.” Rue said, forming his hands into a triangle. “What’s his new name?”
Rue narrowed his eyes. “Is he straight or gay? I’d like to know.”
“He’s um––” Mr. Jefferson paused with hesitation.
“You’d never raise a queer, now would you?”
“He’s straight. No, of course not!”
“Doesn’t he go by another name as well? Oh dear, what was it again?”
Mr. Jefferson couldn’t stop mumbling under his breath.
Rue interrupted his thoughts, leaning his head back over on the chair. “Oh, right! He calls himself Slim. He goes by that nickname, instead of that ridiculous name your wife gave him at birth. He does have a habit of cross-dressing as a girl––I wonder where he got that from, I suppose?”
Beads of perspiration rolled down Mr. Jefferson’s forehead.
“But he’s not living with you anymore, is he? How unfortunate indeed. He doesn’t have your last name either. Kind of like he wasn’t yours to begin with. Am I right?” Rue asked, pretending to look sad.
“No, no. My wife and I divorced years ago. He lives with his mother. She remarried,” Mr. Jefferson said. “His stepfather called him by that name.”
“I see…but does he know you’re still alive? And by the way, he fucking hates his stepfather. You wouldn’t know that, now would you?”
“No, I-I had no idea he didn’t like his stepfather. I hadn’t spoken to him in years––he never talked to me anyway.”
“How fantastic. Your drunken father abandoned you. You grow up and throw away your only son, selling him to the highest bidder. He’s adopted by his stepfather, who then changes the boy’s real name. Is that why you’re fucking your secretary?
By the way, isn’t she married? Did I mention she’s about two years older than your daughter? So, that would make you a pervert, who sleeps around with girls no matter who they are or what their age is. Does any of this ring a bell?”
Mr. Jefferson didn’t know how to reply. Rue filled in the blanks for him.
“Well, she’s technically engaged. But that doesn’t matter to you, now does it? You’ll fuck anything with two legs, isn’t that correct? If it had four legs you’d fuck that too. Please, feel free to respond.”
Mr. Jefferson placed his hands on the desk, fumbling with his fingers. “So, what brings you into my office, Mr. Chang?”
“Your time’s up.”
“I-I thought I had plenty of time.”
“You did. Until, you broke all the rules. The deal was quite clear––you are not allowed to go near Denzell, ever again. Don’t you dare go searching for him. Or did you forget about that as well?
You sold the boy in an auction, so try to forget about him and everyone you love. It’s quite easy to do. Humans are so fickle with their relationships, don’t you agree?”
Mr. Jefferson quickly rose out of his chair. “I don’t have what you need! Can’t we-we make another settlement?”
“Renegotiate?” Rue said, in a deep voice. “If you feel so strongly about it, so be it. Enlighten me.”
“I need more time. You can’t expect me to hand it over like that.”
“Then, I’ll just take what rightfully belongs to me.” Rue pointed to the picture in front of Mr. Jefferson. “How about that cutie over here? I want your son. Is that fucking clear?”
“You can’t do that! We had a pact, you and I!”
“Ah, yes…” Rue got up and then ambled toward the desk, approaching Mr. Jefferson. “How about this then. I’ll take that fine young man off your hands. It’s not like you have a conscience anyhow––” he said, picking up the portrait and touching the face tenderly, “after I have my way with him, then we can call it even. I’ll leave you alone to screw whomever you desire.”
“You can’t do this to me. I love my son. I’ll do anything to stop you! If you harm him, I’ll call the––”
Rue grabbed Mr. Jefferson’s collar so fast, he didn’t know what hit him. “Go ahead and call the police. What are you going to say to them? That you made a deal with the Devil? You call anyone and I’ll kill you right where you stand. As of now, your son doesn’t belong to you anymore. He never existed! In fact, your wife never gave birth to him in this world.”
Mr. Jefferson pleaded with him. “Please, don’t hurt my boy.”
“I won’t hurt him much, besides I think you did enough damage to him already. Now, it’s your turn to help me. Do me a quick little favor, and I’ll think about sparing the life of your beautiful, green-eyed angel.”
“What do…you want…Mr. Chang?” Mr. Jefferson choked.
Rue dropped the pathetic man to the floor and brushed a hand through his fine, soft hair. He towered over Mr. Jefferson. Then, he smiled.
“I’ll tell you what I want in due time. So until then, be on your best behavior.”
Mr. Jefferson trembled as he began to weep in front of the shadowy figure before him. Rue’s yellow eyes reflected no light. He removed Denzell’s portrait from the picture frame and dropped what he didn’t need on the ground; his black shoes stepped on the glass, splintering what may be left of Mr. Jefferson’s weak heart.
Rue Chang strolled out of that room without a care in the world, whistling as he let the door slam shut behind him. His cheerful song could be heard throughout the entire building.